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Thursday, April 12, 2007

I'm selling my soul- why's nobody buying it?

On crafting forums sellers usually ask questions like, "Why doesn't my stuff sell?" You pour your heart and soul into creating knitted pot scrubbers or candles shaped like mixtapes only to find that nobody's interested. Instead of digging into your past to figure out what you've done wrong to deserve such bad karma, take some advice from a buyer who spends way too much time shopping for crafty goods on the internet for her own good.

Are you doing enough to spread the word about your online store on the Internet?

Some free places to advertise:

Post your link on Bust's Girl Wide Web.

Post ads for your store in livejournal communities, such as diymarketplace, tshirtsurg_sale, hotfashionsales (there are so many others... just do a search!)

Myspace. Create a myspace profile for your business. Use the 'photo' section to post photos of stuff for sale, or your best work that's already been sold. Add indie businesses you admire as friends. You can do the whole "Thanks for adding me, check out my business" thing, which users of myspace normally post in the comments of others who accept their friend requests to gain more exposure. While this may generally be considered annoying with regards to musicians who use the technique to market themselves, it's still an effective technique for indie buyers. If the ad for yourself that you post in other people's comments is eye-catching, you've got yourself a potential buyer.

There are some myspace profiles dedicated to exposing the best in indie craft/design. They take the format of a directory; when you add them you get to post an ad for your site on their particular profile. The one I check most often is Diy directory, which has interviews and featured items, (and mostly has links to incredibly cool handmade fashion-check it out!) but I'm sure there are others. Do a search and see what you come up with.

On Craftster, you can post a link to your site in the "Links" section. You can also post a tutorial for one of your projects in the forum. Although you can't mention that you're advertising it for sale (strictly forbidden and slightly unethical), I find that if somebody really likes something you've created, they'll private message you to find out where they can get it or check out your site. I've done it countless times myself.

Always have a link to your site available in your signature! Of course, this works for every forum- not just Craftster.

On livejournal crafting communities such as t_shirt_surgery or craftgrrl, you can mention, however, that you have an item for sale when you post a project.

Send an e-mail to an indie blog dedicated to diy product reviews asking to be featured. The popular ones are Modish, and Design*Sponge. You may even want to send samples of products for consideration.

Participate in The Sampler.

There are several other ways to promote businesses that I probably don't even know about. The Switchboards, Craftster and Supernaturale are always good resources for opinions, advice and comments on your crafty business.

If you spend some time using these sites to market your items, you'd be amazed at the difference this may make in sales. There are so many buyers who just spend their time browsing through these places, looking for cool new items to buy!

Coming Soon:

  • Are pictures of your items taken well enough?
  • and others!


    NB: don't forget to comment if you have any questions, ideas, recipes and/or salutations.

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